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EU Considering Banning Combustion Cars From Cities By 2050

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Can you imagine a future--thirty-nine years from now--where there are no engines humming, no exhaust smells, no car sounds of any kind in the city except the presumably Jetsons-like beeping of EVs? The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, can, and it has a transportation proposal aiming to do just that by 2050.

Keeping all gasoline and diesel powered cars out of urban centers is an impossible, impractical dream right now--there simply isn't any efficient alternative to preserve mobility without combustion-powered cars. But the EU thinks it could be possible by 2050. If that sounds like a long way out to you, consider that the same agencies within the EC only see half of Europe's vehicle fleet being zero-emission (tailpipe emission, presumably) by 2030.

Seeking to replace combustion-powered cars with a more efficient "road, rail, air and water" transportation network to include a large shift in freight from roads to the other methods of transport.

The motivation? Reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth.

What do you think of the idea? Is 2050 a reasonable time frame? Will EV technology be far enough along to replace the demand for personal mobility only an automobile can provide? Will production capacity of those EVs be high enough to meet the demand the populations of 2050 will produce? If it is a workable idea, could it also work here? For a peek at what may lie ahead, be sure to read John Voelcker's take on the topic at AllCarsElectric.

You can grab the full report at the European Commissions's Transport page. Let us know your answers, thoughts, or concerns in the comments below.
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Comments (12)
  1. Absolutely brilliant! There is an ever-increasing need to tackle these problems, and I am quite amazed that there will be a serious attempt to do it. Funnily enough, I and my not-anywhere-near-boring friends spend hours chewing over precisely this topic. We can look forward to more fun travel in the future, unpolluted streets and sensible freight management? I can hardly believe it. Pinch me before someone puts a spanner in the works.
     
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  2. Good idea. It's far enough into the future to give companies plenty of lead time. We MUST reduce our dependence on foreign oil that is obtained from shady people in shady places where more blood is spilled than oil.
     
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  3. Someone had ta do this. Do it. Live it. Love it.
     
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  4. Good. More gas for the rest of us.
     
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  5. Sounds like a good idea, for me now and for the me in 40 years.
     
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  6. it's about time. Every Country should be doing this.
     
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  7. Dave, if you think that you are King George style tyrannt. Utter nonsense. I'd rather have the freedom to come and go ON my schedule AS I PLEASE and not wait in line for hours upon hours for some government run train. NO THANKS IN AMERICA! If they try this crap in America it will start a civil war.
     
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  8. All you people are insane, this is utter nonsense. I'd rather have the freedom to come and go ON my schedule AS I PLEASE and not wait in line for hours upon hours for some government run train. NO THANKS!!! We will tell government what they can and can't do, not the other way around. Freedom supercedes all these lame excuses to implement such tyranny on society.
     
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  9. I wouldn't classify this as either brilliant or tyrannical but rather pragmatic. The risk is that petroleum will become a scarce resource. When that happens you are going to see bans on burning the stuff for energy become the norm as critical uses such as materials, pharmaceuticals, etc. get priority. Countries that have taken drastic steps beforehand will be better prepared to weather the crisis. Countries that have had their heads in the sand will experience a much more painful transition. Which category do you think the US will fall into?
     
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  10. Kudos to the EU for pushing this. we need to get away from using oil. we have the technology now so we don't have to waite until 2050. fill cities up with the air car. within the next 5-10 years we'll have a super capacitor batteries which will power electric cars- charge your car up in 5 minutes and go 400 km's with batteries lasting for over 10 years.
     
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  11. Fantastic!! Why wait until 2050?? How about 2025 instead ?
     
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  12. "Will EV technology be far enough along to replace the demand for personal mobility only an automobile can provide?"
    We already have a vehicle which can do this. It uses no climate-changing fuel and its engine gets stronger and more reliable the more it is used. It could immediately replace most journeys completed by fossil-fuel burning cars, more than half of which are under 5km. It just needs the political will to provide for it and a slight shift in the mindset of some people. What is this miracle vehicle? The bicycle! Remember it? It has been around longer than cars.
     
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